My world came to an abrupt halt two weeks ago when my computer crashed.
I didn’t realize how dependent I had become on my old desktop computer until that moment. I rely on it to write these columns, stay on top of world events but mostly shop. I also burn my own CDs, which tells you how old I am. I like to purchase songs from iTunes, create a playlist and then burn a CD, which I then play in my car. Thankfully, my car has a CD player. Newer models don’t even offer it. CD players are now obsolete like the 8-track player and the ashtray.
My kids are disgusted with my CD burning and keep telling me I should just use Spotify and stream my music. I’m wasting my money they say, but I am paying for their monthly subscription to Spotify, so I think they should just zip it.
Anyway, during the burning process my computer froze. I did what I always do when my computer freezes, which is also considered the worst way to turn off your computer: I simply held the power button in for 10 seconds and waited for it to turn off. Then I hit the power button again, assuming it would reboot. It didn’t. I tried all the tricks that YouTube offered and nothing worked. I sat there dumbfounded.
I thought about all my emails, passwords, columns and pictures being held hostage by my dead computer. I began to panic.
Then, I remembered a place called The Computer Guyz. The owner is a genius and knows his way around motherboards and hard drives, but you have to be willing to put the blinders on when you enter his shop. It is a mess. I am just being honest here.
There are computer parts everywhere, and you can barely walk because of all the cords, electronics and keyboards on the floor, but I assume that must be how geniuses operate.
Wait a minute. My house is also a mess, and I am surely no genius, so there goes my theory.
Anyway, I brought my dead computer to him, hoping he could resurrect it and for a fair price. I had forgotten how the owner loves to talk. I mean he can talk! I’m not sure he even takes a breath, which means there is never a moment where you can politely interrupt him. So you just have to speak up loudly and say, “I have to go!” Which is what I did because it was time to take Scout to puppy school, and I was now running late. He promised to call me with an estimate.
Now, before I took my ailing computer to The Computer Guyz, I noticed that my four parakeets were low on water. I quickly filled up their water dishes, grabbed my computer and headed out the door.
When I returned from The Computer Guyz, I opened the door to find both my dogs and four cats sitting in the middle of the living room staring up at the ceiling. A flash of yellow flew by my head, then a green flash. The birds were loose! I had forgotten to secure the latch on the cage, and the birds had all escaped. They were fluttering all over the house, chirping and enjoying their newfound freedom.
I started screaming, “The birds are out!”
Haley appeared at the top of the stairs just as one flew by her head. It was a miracle that all four parakeets were still alive, what with all the predators about. The dogs were barking, the cats were oddly calm, probably devising a bird-murder plan.
The clock was ticking. Only 20 minutes until Scout’s puppy class, and I had to rescue the birds before I left. Leaving them in the house with all the animal assassins meant certain death. One by one, using a piano stool, climbing on chairs and hopping from couch to couch, I snatched them by hand.
Did you know parakeets bite? But I kept going and finally, they were all safely back in the cage, much to the disappointment of the cats who quietly slinked away to take naps.
I grabbed Scout. Scout hates the car and also hates school. He whined the whole way. We were 15 minutes late. The puppy school door was locked, so I knocked and the instructor opened the door. The eyes of all the other puppy parents were on me.
I apologized for being late and offered up my story about having to rescue my parakeets, thinking I might get a laugh, but I didn’t. I just wanted to disappear, but all the chairs were taken, so I made a beeline for the corner and awkwardly sat down on the cold concrete floor. It was more like a collapse really, due to my arthritic knee.
A nice man, who I am pretty sure felt sorry for me, offered me his chair. Getting up off the floor proved to be even more awkward, especially while still clutching my little dog, but I finally made it to the stool. Scout sat on my lap whining loudly and shaking uncontrollably. What a pair.
Well, what a difference a week makes! My computer has been restored. The parakeets haven’t tried to escape after their thrilling bird adventure, and Scout actually performed his first successful ‘sit’ the other day. Time to sit back, relax and burn a new CD.